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Fidelity Bank gets Highest Corporate Governance Rating on Stock Market

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Fidelity Bank Plc complies with the highest corporate governance standards as the leading commercial bank adheres promptly to all full disclosure requirements and global best practices.

Fidelity Bank is awarded CG+, the highest rank under the Corporate Governance Rating System (CGRS), which screens quoted companies against prescribed best practices and standards.

A review of the latest compliance report showed that Fidelity Bank sustains its highest-ranking rating of CG+, with shareholders and market pundits commending the high corporate standards of the bank.

Head, Listings Regulation Department, NGX Regulation (NGXRegco), Mr. Godstime Iwenekhai, explained that the CGRS was designed to strengthen the governance structures of listed companies and provide a valid basis for discerning investors to differentiate between listed companies on the basis of their compliance with acceptable standards of corporate governance.

“In our view, corporate governance promotes ethical business practices, transparency and fair competition,” Iwenekhai said.

He pointed out that the special character combination “CG+” underlined compliance with best practices and highest corporate governance standards, which entitle the rated companies to special privileges at the stock market.

Corporate governance compliance at the stock market includes prompt submission of detailed operational results from period to period as required by the market rules, full disclosures of all material and regulated information and accurate rendition of reports and accounts.

Also, compliance includes ensuring that the company’s shares are not encumbered in a way that impinges on free float or number of shares available to the general investing public for efficient price discovery, compliance with all investor-protection safeguards in communication with shareholders and organizing statutory meetings as required among others.

The Nigerian Exchange (NGX) noted that compliance tracker was aimed at maintaining market integrity and protecting the investors, noting that listed companies are required to adhere to high disclosure standards.

“Financial information which is periodic disclosure and on-going material events disclosure should be released to NGX in a timely manner to enable it efficiently perform its function of maintaining an orderly market,” NGX stated, referencing some of the criteria for its corporate governance rating.

Market experts and shareholders agreed that corporate governance compliance is a major factor in deciding on investing in a public and the safety of such investment.

Managing Director, Arthur Steven Asset Management, Mr. Olatunde Amolegbe, said corporate governance compliance rating is “extremely important” as it indicates to the investing public the quality of compliance of a company to listing requirements.

“As you know, stock prices are driven primarily by available information and the NGX has a minimum level of disclosure expected of quoted companies. This disclosure helps the public make qualitative decisions as to the state or performance of the companies they are seeking to invest in. These markers are therefore the initial indicators as to whether the companies are meeting their disclosures and other regulatory obligations or not,” Amolegbe, a former president of Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS), said.

Managing Director, APT Securities & Funds, Mallam Garba Kurfi, said the corporate governance rating “shows the extent companies are in compliance with corporate governance”.

“High rating means very good in doing right thing timely while low rating discourages foreign investors from investing in such companies,” Kurfi, a leading market operator and member of the board of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), said.

Managing Director, HighCap Securities, Mr David Adonri, noted that “CG+ means excellent corporate governance rating”.

“When a company is organised and uphold good corporate governance, the benefit to stakeholders is maximized,” Adonri said.

Investors said its high corporate governance was one of the compelling reasons they chose to invest in Fidelity Bank.

President, Association for the Advancement of Rights of Nigerian Shareholders (AARNS), Dr. Faruk Umar said Fidelity Bank has a very good corporate governance structure that reassures investors of the safety of their investments.

According to him, while the bank has good succession plan, the calibre of the independent non-executive directors on the board gives shareholders strong confidence of the kind of board oversight they will be expecting.

National Coordinator, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), Mr. Moses Igbrude, said Fidelity Bank’s impressive performance over the years had been built on good corporate governance.

“My appeal to the board is to continue to imbibe good corporate governance in order to sustain this growth,” Igbrude said.

National Coordinator, Pragmatic Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Mrs. Bisi Bakare, said Fidelity Bank has created a “very excellent impression” in the minds of shareholders.

According to her, the bank has continually showcased exemplary leadership with continuous impressive results, with successive growths over the past five years.

“Fidelity Bank is a very good bank that shareholders are very happy with their investments and we have never regretted buying into Fidelity Bank,” Bakare said.

National Coordinator, Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Mr. Boniface Okezie said good corporate governance was the cornerstone of Fidelity Bank’s sustained growth and impressive returns over the years.

“Fidelity Bank remains one of the best stocks that investors should look forward to invest in for better returns. I’m very optimistic of the bank’s healthy strong assets. With its good corporate governance and excellent customers’ service, there is every reason to hope for more promising future,” Okezie said.

The NGX tags defaulting companies for poor corporate governance and also applies various monetary and non-monetary sanctions, including fines ranging between N100,000 to N100 million, partial or full suspension of trading, naming and shaming with a red alert tag and compulsory delisting in extreme cases. 

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Banking and Finance

Fidelity Bank public offer, rights issue to open Thursday June 20

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Nigeria’s 6th largest bank, Fidelity Bank Plc will on Thursday, June 20, 2024 open its public offer and Rights Issue.

As part of this capital raising process, Fidelity Bank will same Thursday, June 20, 2024 at the NGX hold a Facts Behind the Offer presentation.

According to an article posted on the Businessday website and authored by Iheanyi Nwachukwu, 3.2 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each will be offered in the ratio of 1 new ordinary share for every 10 ordinary shares held as of 05 January 2024, at N9.25 per share under the Rights Issue,

For the public offer, 10 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each will be offered to the general investing public at N9.75 per share.

Stanbic IBTC Capital is the Lead Issuing House to the Combined Offer, whilst the Joint Issuing Houses include Iron Global Markets Limited, Cowry Asset Management Limited, Afrinvest Capital Limited, FSL Securities Limited, Futureview Financial Services Limited, Iroko Capital Market Advisory Limited, Kairos Capital Limited and Planet Capital Limited.

The acceptance and application lists for the rights issue and public offer which will open on Thursday, June 20 will close on Monday July 29, 2024.

The bank recently concluded all necessary arrangements to raise a total of up to N127.100billion by way of a rights issue to existing shareholders and a public offer (the combined offer).

The combined offer is a part of the bank’s strategy to increase its share capital base in compliance with the revised minimum capital requirements for Nigerian commercial banks introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on March 28, 2024.

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Banking and Finance

WEMA BANK concludes 1st tranche of Capital Raise Programme

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LAGOS, NIGERIA – 14th June 2024 – Wema Bank PLC (Bloomberg: WemaBank: NL) (“Wema” or “the Bank”) announces the allotment of its N40billion Rights issue programme.

-Raises N40billion through a Rights Issuance process.
-Part of its larger 2-year; N150billion Capital programme.
Rights fully subscribed.
-Expected to Commence concluding tranche of additional Capital in Q4, 2024.
-Corporate Ratings affirmed by Fitch at BBB & Upgraded by Agusto to BBB+

Wema Bank, Nigeria’s foremost innovative bank and pioneer of Africa’s first fully digital bank, ALAT, has successfully concluded the first tranche of its recapitalisation exercise having secured all relevant regulatory approvals for the allotment of its N40bn Rights Issue which was initiated in December 2023.

In view of macroeconomic conditions, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in March 2024, launched a recapitalisation programme requiring commercial banks to raise fresh capital in alignment with the minimum requirement for their respective banking licenses, within a 24-month timeline spanning April 1, 2024, to March 31, 2026. The goal of this recapitalisation programme is to simultaneously boost the Nigerian economy and strengthen the Nigerian financial services industry.

As a forward-thinking and pioneering bank, Wema Bank in December 2023 launched a N40bn Rights issue which has now been approved by the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). With this remarkable development, Wema Bank has now successfully raised the 1st tranche of its plan in the minimum requirement laid down by the CBN.

In a statement made to the public by the Bank, Moruf Oseni, Wema Bank’s Managing Director and CEO, iterated the Bank’s resolve in retaining its Commercial Banking license with National Authorisation, adding that the N40bn Rights Issue is a step in that direction. “We are delighted to announce the conclusion of the 1st tranche of our Capital Raise Programme, after obtaining the relevant approvals of all regulatory authorities. Our move to commence our Capital Raise Programme very early demonstrates our push for excellence and with a strong emphasis on our digital play, we are set to amass more successes in the coming months.”

“We were impressed by the vote of confidence given by our shareholders during the 1st Rights Issue exercise as our shares were fully subscribed. In addition, we obtained the approval of shareholders at our 2023 Annual General Meeting (AGM) to raise an additional N150billion to meet the capitalisation threshold set by the CBN. The process is expected to be completed within 12-18 months. We are committed to providing optimum returns for every stakeholder and the successful conclusion of this N40bn Rights Issue is a bold step in the right direction.”

In addition to the upward trend in the Bank’s financial performance and the success recorded so far in its recapitalisation exercise, Wema Bank’s corporate rating was recently upgraded to BBB+ by Pan African credit rating agency, Agusto and Co, and retained at BBB by international rating agency, Fitch. Over the medium to long term, Wema Bank is positioned to not only dominate the digital Banking space but also the Nigerian financial services industry at large as it translates its industry leadership to significant market share.

Wema Bank is a leading financial services entity with banking operations across Nigeria, its leadership position in the digital banking space speaks to its aspirations to liberate Nigerian businesses and entrepreneurs by making digital platforms widely available.

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Banking and Finance

Fidelity Bank records largest single-day turnover volume of over 600 million shares.

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Fidelity Bank was by far the most traded stock in the NGX on Monday, 10 June 2024, with a turnover volume of about 605.257 million shares, even as the stock gained 6.52% to close at N9.80.

Since announcing its public offer and rights issue program, the bank’s stock has seen significant market activity. For the week ending June 7, 2024, it emerged as the top-traded stock, with a turnover volume of 229.613 million shares.

After Fidelity Bank, Access Holdings recorded the highest turnover volume in the market with 93.067 million shares. It was followed by UBA, which recorded a 2.86% gain and a turnover volume of 58.726 million shares.

Nigerian Breweries which posted a 2.38% posted a turnover volume of 45.256 million shares, and Zenith Bank with a 4.66% gain posted a turnover volume of 16.079 million shares.

In terms of turnover value, Fidelity Bank posted a N6.025 billion turnover value, while Access Holdings posted a turnover value of N1.744 billion. Nigerian Breweries recorded N1.27 billion, UBA – N1.26 billion, and Stanbic IBTC posted a turnover value of N572.92 million with a 0.57% gain.

For stocks worth over one trillion, trading sentiment was quite positive, however, eight out of the ten stocks were left unchanged. GTCO Holdings posted a 0.13% and Zenith Bank posted a 4.66% gain.

Other members of the category, Airtel Africa, BUA Cement, BUA Foods, MTN Nigeria, Geregu Power, Transcorp Power, Seplat Energy, and Dangote Cement posted no price changes.

The top-tier banking stocks recorded gains all-round, as UBA, GTCO, Access Holdings, and Zenith Bank posted 2.86%, 0.13%, 9.86%, and 4.66% gains respectively. However, FBNH recorded no price change.

The FUGAZ stocks recorded a turnover volume of 181.488 million shares.

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